With the 20/21 NBA finals literally around the corner, we thought we'd do a deep-dive into last season's stunning championship ring, which the LA Lakers won.
Many people don't realise that championship rings, specifically those presented by NBA teams, are much more than precious metals with a flurry of diamonds—they are intricate pieces of modern-day art forged and carefully designed by world-class storytellers.
In all great championship rings, you will find what we call "hidden easter eggs". These Easter eggs are only known to the team and are so subtle that they will almost always go unnoticed. You would never think there might be a hidden meaning behind a particular number of stones or even a specific karat of gold used, but you might be pleasantly surprised!
We've done a complete analysis of the 2020 Lakers ring, and here are our three favourite easter eggs:
1. The logo and stone allocation
We hinted at it before when we said there might be a hidden meaning behind the particular number of stones. This ring has taken it to an entirely new level! Let's check it out:
The Lakers purple 'L' is encrusted with 17 amethyst stones, representing the franchises 17 NBA titles (pretty standard easter egg... but this next one is where it gets a little ridiculous)
The total weight of all 17 amethysts combined comes to .95 carats, which signifies the 95 days the team spent in the NBA bubble (... crazy, we told you!)
And lastly, to define the logo colours, they have used .52 carats of yellow diamonds, representing the teams 52 regular-season wins.
The next is taking to a whole other level!
2. Redefining 'hidden' with a Removable Face
This easter egg redefines hidden when the face of the ring is actually detachable, revealing under it a hidden message/s. First seen in the Golden State Warriors 2018 championship ring, the Lakers have adopted the same function to create some extra 'boot space'.
They have used this newfound room to inscribe the word 'UNITY' on the face's underside, as unity was a big theme for the club in 2020 as the team strived for social justice.
When removing the detachable face, it unveiled a surprising and very thoughtful feature to the ring. You'll find 12 miniature jerseys with engraved player numbers (and one microphone for Chick Hearn) of the past greats who had their jerseys retired—paying respect to the legends that paved the way for all the future Laker players.
There is one more easter egg under the face, but that falls under our next and absolute favourite of them all...
3. Paying homage to the late Kobe Bryant
On January 26th, 2020, Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna passed away in a devastating helicopter crash. Kobe's passing sent shockwaves throughout the entire world of sports, and out of everyone, the Lakers organisation where Kobe played his entire career felt it most. So it was a no brainer that when the Lakers won the title, Kobe was bound for a dedication somewhere on the ring—and boy did they hit the nail on the head.
Behind the 12 miniature jerseys under the face of the ring, there is a distinct snakeskin pattern, paying homage to Kobe's nickname, "Black Mamba". Not only that but Kobe's retired jerseys are highlighted black with a gold number (instead of gold with a black number) to signify his impact on this team and the entire franchise.
And lastly, back to the outside of the ring, you'll find on the right-side exterior, it has inscribed the player's name and number on each ring. Featured directly beneath the personalised name are the words 'LEAVE A LEGACY', which refers to the team's playoff slogan in honour of Kobe. And if you look very closely behind the player's number, you'll find two coiled snakes—which was the icing on the cake for us.
So there you have it! Three of our favourite easter eggs in the 2020 LA Lakers championship ring. The next time you see someone wearing a championship ring, ask them if there are any hidden meanings—you might be pleasantly surprised!
Sources: Images from Robbreport and CNN